Now this could be interesting! Wikipedia launching a search engine, but not only that, one which they want to be better than Google. I have been bugged for a long time at the search engines desire to be Google rather than be better than Google. Although Google are good at what they do, they are not perfect, somebody with the right backing and the right application could quite easily out do them in my opinion. On top of this wiki appear to be planning to incorporate some of their own philisophy of user approved and generated content into the project. Done correctly this could produce an innovative new payer in the search engine supremacy war, however it coud also just lead to another bit part player fighting for the scraps from Google’s table.
Wikipedia founder says to challenge Google, Yahoo Fri Mar 9, 2007 5:38AM EST TOKYO (Reuters) – The online collaboration responsible for Wikipedia plans to build a search engine to rival those of Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., the founder of the popular Internet encyclopaedia said on Thursday. Wikia Inc., the commercial counterpart to the non-profit Wikipedia, is aiming to take as much as 5 percent of the lucrative Internet search market, Jimmy Wales said at a news conference in Tokyo. “The idea that Google has some edge because they’ve got super-duper rocket scientists may be a little antiquated now,” he said. Describing the two Internet firms as “black boxes” that won’t disclose how they rank search results, Wales said collaborative search technology could transform the power structure of the Internet. Wales, a former futures trader who has become an evangelist for the free sharing of technology, said users could work together to improve search engines, just as Wikipedia users had tweaked and rewritten articles on the sprawling encyclopaedia. The process of constant improvement would also make search technology less susceptible to spam, he said. Founded in 2004 and now employing a staff of more than 30, Wikia hosts group publishing sites on a wide range of topics from psychology to the Muppets. While Wikia gives away its tools free to users, the company requires that sites built with its resources link to Wikia.com, which makes money through advertising. Using the same root software as Wikipedia, Wikia is likely eventually to carry more articles than its counterpart, Wales said. Unlike the encyclopaedia, much of Wikia’s content is geared toward niche markets — a boon for readers obsessed with topics such as Star Wars films or trains. Wikipedia currently has nearly 1.7 million articles in English alone, according to its Internet site.While Wales declined to give any earnings targets, he said the company had received a $4 million investment
This article represents the opportunities available for companies operating online in developing countries. 33% increase year on year for india and if you consider its population of 1.1 billion you can see that if the usage continues in this way the implications for countires operating online are vast. as the broadband penetration increase so does the opportunity for marketing and advertising. watch this space for the indian internet revolution!
comScore’s latest rankings put the U.S. first with a 2 percent rise on 2006 taking the January, 2007, level to nearly 154 million internet users. Despite this, the U.S. still only accounts for 20 percent of the total 747 million users online globally. Many of the rapidly developing countries, such as China, Russia and India, also saw the highest rises in online population. China is now the second largest online community with 86.8 million users, a growth of 20 percent from January 2006, but India leads the way with a hefty 33 percent increase. comScore also measured user engagement ranking countries by the average number of hours spent online per visitor during January, 2007. Those users in countries with a high broadband penetration, such as Canada, Israel and the U.K, also spent a greater amount of time online than those with slower connections. “We have all believed that ‘always-on’ broadband connections stimulate usage — this study empirically confirms that conclusion,” said Bob Ivins, comScore’s managing director in Europe.
Raises the question which has been posed many a time before, who is responsible for the copyright of material on search engines? personally I think it would be very difficult for the search engines to police this (cant believe Im on their side!) but agree that they do have a certain responsibility to apply the appropriate filters to reduce it. It is an arguement which I cant see begin resolved any time soon and unless someone comes in and forces them to stop, google will continue to make money out of copyright material.
Microsoft has accused Google of adopting a ‘cavalier’ approach to copyright over the search engine giant’s use of books, films, music and TV programmes without permission, and criticised it for making millions of dollars from other people’s intellectual property. In a speech to the Association of American Publishers, which will be held in New York later today, Tom Rubin, associate general counsel at Microsoft, is set to accuse Google of exploiting copyright and intellectual property through its search engine business. ADVERTISEMENT Rubin will state: “Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and IPOs. “Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop.” Rubin will also defend Microsoft’s business practices by highlighting how it seeks copyright permission before using material created by a third party. Google has come under fierce criticism in recent months from a host of media companies, including Viacom, which forced Google to remove over 100,000 of its video streams from YouTube. Viacom join NBC Universal, which has accused Google of “only protecting copyright when it wants to”, and 20th Century Fox, which issued a subpoena to the search engine in January demanding it remove episodes of hit drama ’24’, starring Keifer Sutherland, from YouTube. In the speech Rubin is set to accuse Google of, “bestowing upon itself the unilateral right to make entire copies of copyrighted books,” by publishing printed works online without permission. Google has responded to the criticism by saying it only publishes extracts from books when it has the author’s permission. The company also said it generated $3.3bn in ad revenue last year, which it said proved it was not generating revenue from third party content. Microsoft has recently sent letters to chief executives of large media companies, asking for support to stop internet piracy. The company now joins Walt Disney, News Corporation, Viacom and Time Warner in attacking Google’s use of third party content.
CEOs Run Cheap in Silicon Valley In stark contrast to most corporate execs, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will each receive a $1 annual salary for 2007, writes CNNMoney.com, citing Google regulatory filings. The three Google execs first requested the radical salary reduction during the second quarter of 2004, just prior to the company’s going public in August of that year. All three own large chunks of Google stock: together, more than $33 billion worth. Both Yahoo chairman Terry Semel and Apple’s Steve Jobs are also getting $1 paychecks for the year.
The personalisation of search results throws up a whole heap of questions which can be debated till the cows come home. But for me, the main two which need to be discussed are privacy and user experience (broad I know).
Google announced in February that it would be making a change to its google account sign in process to allow for more personalisation of search results. Basically, as far as I can gather, the change will be to make the opt out of automatic sign in box as difficult to find as possible! Im sure there are certain legislation they need to comply with but this act throws up a whole heap of arguements (which I dont really want to go into). From my investigations into personalisation (though limited) I know that it can spook people. If you dont understand the automatic sign in process and google starts telling you what you have previously searched on and what you may be interested in it can be a little big brother-esq, producing a negative user experience.
Further affects on user experience can be produced if google interprets search data based on irrelevant criteria. This has been one of the pitfalls of local search. Basing results on a users location is great if they are searching for a locally based product. But what about if there product doesnt need to be locally based, financial services for example. You dont need you mortgage lender to be based nearby because you can perform all the necessary actions over the phone or online therefore making the search results less relevant than the normal ones. Similarly with a product such as hotels. a man in manchester searching on hotels is unlikely to actually want a hotel which is in manchester, more likely he wants a hotel in a city further afield for a weekend stay for example.
Im sure that the behemoth that is google has considered all these problems and will roll out something which addresses them all. But until this is the case I have my reservations about it taking off. I am all for it, believe me, but just think there are some rather lage hurdles to overcome for the product.